liquor bottles

Prohibition

From 1920 to 1933 the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the public sale or consumption of alcohol. During those fourteen years our country struggled to manage the largest social engineering experiment we ever attempted. We had good intentions but experienced many unintended negative consequences: we limited government income and supported a system that promoted the rise of organized crime. Join Professor Gary Midkiff for an examination of the intense national lobbying effort launched by the Anti Saloon League, the gallant effort of the Untouchables, and the political careers affected by support for the “Wets” or the “Drys”. You’ll also learn where the phrase “There is no such thing as a free lunch” started. Continue Reading Prohibition

D-day soldiers

D-Day: June 6, 1944

US Foreign Policy expert Gary Midkiff returns to deconstruct and discuss this historic event. The largest and most complex amphibious landing in military history was a success because of courage, training, luck, mistakes, planning, subterfuge, and the differences between the decision-making processes of Dwight Eisenhower and Adolf Hitler. Continue Reading D-Day: June 6, 1944

Harper: The Vatican Part II

Take a journey inside the walls of the Vatican. Explore the Belvedere Gardens, Vatican Library and the Vatican Museums and see the great works of artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, and the masterpieces of classical sculpture. Learn about the contributions and foibles of some of the more famous (or infamous) Popes. Discover lesser known parts of this complex structure. Even if you haven’t been to Rome, you will come away with a better understanding of this amazingly fascinating city. Continue Reading Harper: The Vatican Part II

Harper: Stepping into Illinois History

Celebrate the Illinois Bicentennial by investigating the fascinating historical sites in our state. Discover the ancient Native American city at Cahokia Mounds, the seat of the French government at Fort de Chartres, and Camp DuBois where Lewis and Clark spent the winter before their Voyage of Discovery. See how early Illinois residents lived in Bishop Hill and Nauvoo, and visit the homes of Presidents Lincoln and Grant. Continue Reading Harper: Stepping into Illinois History

Harper: The Vatican Part I

Explore the rich history of Vatican City, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. How did this uncultivated piece of land along the right bank of the Tiber develop into an area of such importance? How does the significance of St. Peter’s Basilica fit into Roman history? Examine its architectural heritage from a wooden structure of the 4th century to one of the world’s most magnificent structures. Live through the sack of Rome in 1527 using actual accounts of the event. Continue Reading Harper: The Vatican Part I

Rick Pickren

A descendant of Buffalo Bill Cody, Rick travels the plains singing, playing and sharing his knowledge of cowboy and rail history. He performed on the stage with George Strait, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton, among others. We’re right glad to welcome Rick back to our stage! Continue Reading Rick Pickren